May is the National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and state officials are doing their best to promote motorcycle safety as the number of accidents and deaths have increased on Tennessee roads.
By state law, motorcyclists and their passengers are required wear helmets. However, 38 motorcyclist have died so far this year, up by 31 percent compared to 2011. According to Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee’s unseasonably warm weather may be to blame for the increase.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiative is aimed at spreading awareness to other motorists to be cautious of motorcyclists and to “share the road.” It also stresses the increased risk of fatal accidents for intoxicated motorcyclists.
A motorcyclist is in critical condition at Erlanger Medical Center after he was hit by a car last week in Chattanooga.
The 57 year-old man was struck nearly head-on by a vehicle that crossed the northbound lanes of Highway 58 into the southbound lanes. A 24 year-old female driver was traveling north when she failed to stop quick enough to slowing traffic. She swerved into the center lane to avoid a collision, but in turn hit a car waiting to turn left.
After hitting the car, she continued into the path of oncoming traffic. She struck the motorcyclist, who is suffering from serious injuries. Charges are pending on the outcome of the investigation and toxicology test results.
A 28 year-old man lost his right leg after being involved in a serious motorcycle accident. Emergency responders say the man was conscious when they found him. He was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries and is said to currently be in good condition.
The crash is still under investigation. Investigators say the man’s leg was found sixty feet away from his body. To motorcyclist’s bike was found deep in the woods, not visible from the street.
There has been no word as to whether or not surgeons were able to reattach his limb, which was severed just below the knee.